Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Maggie’s on the Move

blog_actionLocal girl caps track season with final meet in Paris
It’s Saturday morning, and where are you?

Maggie Vessey, a Soquel High School and Cal Polytechnic University alumna, stands on the maroon track of Santa Cruz High School in a powder-blue sports bra and black shorts. Heat shimmers around the distant bend; the sky is clear and the sun is hot on the neck. A few morning joggers circle her on the outside lanes, and on the grass of the field the groundskeeper sprays yard lines for the upcoming football season.

With a hop-skip into her stride, Vessey runs.


Vessey’s acceleration is staggering. Imagine water bursting a dam into an unsuspecting valley or the faucet of a deep sink turned on full bore, shooting spray in every direction.

While never inconspicuous¬—a tan, long-legged 5’7” topped with an explosion of blonde hair—Vessey, 28, has become a familiar name in the Track and Field world. Her arrival was heralded at the 2009 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, OR, after her dark-horse victory in the women’s 800 meters. She continued her break-out season by winning meets in Rome and Monaco, running the year’s fastest 800 meter time of 1 minute, 57 seconds, and representing the U.S. at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, the last of which gives her the most pride.

“As an athlete it’s one of the highest honors to represent your country,” Vessey says. “It makes you feel special.”

The track workout is one of Vessey’s final as she draws to a close a long season begun in March. However, before she enjoys some well-earned rest, she has one final meet in which she will again don the Red, White, and Blue singlet of Team USA.

Vessey’s final meet of the year will be on September 11 at the 2010 DecaNation, hosted by the Fédération Française d'Athlétisme in Paris. In the City of Lights, she joins a hand-picked squad where she will represent the U.S. in the 800 meter run against teams from seven other nations.

blog_action2However, unlike most of her teammates, it was Vessey who chose to join the team this year.

“[The 2008 DecaNation] was my very first overseas meet, and it was my first time wearing a USA uniform. I didn’t know if I would keep on running. I wasn’t a contracted athlete,” Vessey says. “They gave me my beginnings into the wild ride of international racing.”

Now a New Balance athlete, Vessey is a rock star at a meet designed to give up-and-coming runners—like she once was—international competitive experience. She won the 800 meters in 2009, and while only a repeat will satisfy her in 2010, the meet is a team-scored event, with each individual’s placing counted toward an overall team place. While not as much pressure as some of the individual races she’s run in the past, “You really want to do well for the team,” Vessey says.

The DecaNation meet is a celebration to a successful season. However, Vessey is already eyeing the next years: 2011 is a World Championship year, and Vessey plans on being in London for the 2012 Olympic Games. Every time she toes the line, she gains valuable race experience that will be drawn on in the years to come.

“At her level, you have to compete internationally,” says coach Greg Brock. “In the long run, [the DecaNation meet] will make her a better competitor.”

After the lights dim on the Paris track, Vessey begins her down-time—something as essential for a professional athlete as a disciplined workout regimen.

“I’m not much of a person that sleeps in, but it will be nice to not jack my heart rate up to 180,” Vessey says.

And just like any other Santa Cruz native, you’ll find her at the beach.

“I love the beach: sitting, reading, walking,” Vessey says. “My life is beach and family oriented.”

Want more Maggie? Follow her blog at Coverage of the DecaNation Meet will be available at

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location